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Diary index

96 Claret at OFW 29/04/1999 (TNB)

28/04/1999 (TNB)

California and Washington State Tasting at Oddbins Fine Wine, Cambridge 27/04/1999 (RJB)

Wine group at M.M.'s 26/04/1999 (TNB)

25/04/1999 (RJB)

22/04/1999 (TNB)

Wines of Portugal 20/04/1999 (TNB)

18/04/1999 (RJB)

18/04/1999 (TNB)

Burgundy at OFW 15/04/1999 (TNB)

11/04/1999 (RJB)

10/04/1999 (TNB)

08/04/1999 (TNB)

Saintsbury Pinot Noir Vertical Plus Guests - Gang of 6 07/04/1999 (RJB)

06/04/1999 (TNB)

04/04/1999 (RJB)

The Diary - April 1999

96 Claret at OFW 29/04/1999 (TNB)

I suppose the professionals have tasted this vintage several times, but this was my first look. It is certainly not as ripe and attractive as 95, and I rather suspect it is no better than that vintage. Performance did seem to vary a lot. The trendy properties remain prohibitively expensive, but there is a layer of less fashionable wines which are plausible value, if not exactly bargains.
  • Fonteneil 1996 (Fronsac) Moderately dense. Plummy/cherryish, ripe fruit, softish oak. Reasonable length and acidity. Very gluggable style. 10:99 **
  • Beausejour-Becot 1996 Dense, india ink colour. Impenetrable spicy-plum nose. Bags of tannins. Chocolatey hints. Is the length really there? Maybe just good. **(*)
  • L'Angelus 1996 Dense, young red. Slightly smoky, fine Cab nose. Potentially pencily. Lovely, dry claret. 53:99 ***(*)
  • Elderton Merlot 1996 Moderately deep, young red. Slightly sweet, softish, New Worldy fruit. Easily spotted blind as a ringer. Not my sort of thing. 14:99 **
  • Brane-Cantenac 1996 Traditional, capsicum and blackcurrant claret. Will make a classy drink in time. A bit of a sleeper. 21:99 **(*)
  • Calon-Segur 1996 Moderately deep, young red. Flashier and more forward than the B-C, but not clearly better. Pleasant enough. 24:99 **(*)
  • Cos d'Estournel 1996 Smokey, rounded, fairly forward seeming. May be hiding more beside the elegance, but not amazing at first sight. For now, **(*)
  • Carraudes de Lafite 1996 Slightly leafy/vegetal. Pleasantly constructed. 19:99 **
  • Pichon Baron 1996 Plummy, slightly roasted. Softish - very good but is it great? 38:00 **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 29/04/1999   Return to top

28/04/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 28/04/1999   Return to top

California and Washington State Tasting at Oddbins Fine Wine, Cambridge 27/04/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 27/04/1999   Return to top

Wine group at M.M.'s 26/04/1999 (TNB)

The Wine Group's first all Hungarian evening, I believe. The Tokays (which made an excellent match with pate) delicious, the reds respectable, the dry whites perhaps a shade characterless.

Not always easy to see which bit of the label is the wine, and which is the bit about not drinking if you are pregnant, so I've no idea whether the words that follow describe the wine!

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 26/04/1999   Return to top

25/04/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 25/04/1999   Return to top

22/04/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 22/04/1999   Return to top

Wines of Portugal 20/04/1999 (TNB)

A quick tour only of this extensive event. While there is clearly quite a lot of unfortunate "modern winemaking" influence in the form of flashy, oaky wines and boring international varietals, there is also a lot of reasonably priced, serious, ageworthy wine. I thought the specialist importer Raymond Reynolds had a particularly good selection. There follows a few brief notes.
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 20/04/1999   Return to top

18/04/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/04/1999   Return to top

18/04/1999 (TNB)

  • Cote de Rhone 1985 (Guigal) One of two bottles left. It may be a shade past peak, but is now drinking nicely like a slightly rustic, moderate quality Chateauneuf. I wonder if recent vintages have this potential? **
  • Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 1995 (Felsina Berardenga) Lovely, ripe, blackberry fruit, with plummy depths and a hint of spice. Not quite as pure as the Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo a few weeks ago, but more complex at the moment. I think this is because of a bit of well-judged new oak. This is such a reliably good estate! At least **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 18/04/1999   Return to top

Burgundy at OFW 15/04/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 15/04/1999   Return to top

11/04/1999 (RJB)

  • L'Agnet 1997, Priorat Heavy, big wine, but you expect that from Priorat. Scents of roses, strawberries and pepperiness with an alcoholic almost Port-like finish. **(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/04/1999   Return to top

10/04/1999 (TNB)

  • Clos de Marquis 1983 The second wine of Las Cases - good colour, blackcurrant and tobacco nose with a softness on the palate that suggests it is ready to drink. Very good for a second wine. ***
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 10/04/1999   Return to top

08/04/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 08/04/1999   Return to top

Saintsbury Pinot Noir Vertical Plus Guests - Gang of 6 07/04/1999 (RJB)

The message from this tasting is drink Saintsbury Pinots youngish - some were past it, others were still OK, but probably hadn't become any better for ageing. I'll certainly be drinking up my remaining 1990s soon. Wines were tasted blind.

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 07/04/1999   Return to top

06/04/1999 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 06/04/1999   Return to top

04/04/1999 (RJB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 04/04/1999   Return to top